Of­fi­cer shouldn’t be de­mo­nized for com­ment

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

I am writ­ing this let­ter in re­sponse to the ar­ti­cle that was writ­ten con­demn­ing the re­marks made by Pfc. Rob Glover [in re­gards to the two West­lake High School teenagers who were killed in a car crash; “Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice deputy sus­pended for in­sen­si­tive com­ment,” Mary­land In­de­pen­dent, March 8]. I have been think­ing about the ar­ti­cle all week­end and felt com­pelled to give my re­sponse from the side of a po­lice fam­ily.

My first plan is to stop by the La Plata po­lice sta­tion when Pfc. Glover re­turns, try to lo­cate him and give him a big hug. I first want to thank him for his 20 plus years of ser­vice.

Now, I will ex­plain why I feel so strongly about that. I come from a very long line of a “Blue Line” fam­ily. My de­ceased hus­band, three broth­ers-in-law, both my son’s, daugh­ter-in-law, grand­son, and nu­mer­ous neph­ews are in­volved in law en­force­ment. These hard work­ing and ded­i­cated po­lice of­fi­cers, see things ev­ery day that no per­son should have to see. They see the ab­so­lute worst of the worst of so­ci­ety then have to try to have it make some kind of sense, so they can go home to their fam­i­lies and live a nor­mal life and to ev­ery­one else, they might seem like they are so tough, but they all have a soft side too.

That soft side comes out when they have to com­fort some­one at an ac­ci­dent scene, go to a do­mes­tic call, or to no­tify some­one that their loved one is not com­ing home. Those calls are an ev­ery­day oc­cur­rence for these men and women who wear the blue. How can they not be frus­trated and up­set and yes maybe say things that peo­ple find of­fen­sive ... they are hu­man, too. But some­times peo­ple for­get that. We don’t know what kind of day that Pfc. Glover had the day he com­mented on the ac­ci­dent, maybe his frus­tra­tion with the young driv­ers in the county — the ones he has stopped and given tick­ets to about speed­ing, fi­nally got to him. Like the ar­ti­cles have stated — he had over 20 years of go­ing on calls and see­ing the worst of the worst.

Nowa­days, there is no other pro­fes­sion that is scru­ti­nized more than the po­lice, ev­ery­one seems to have a “bet­ter way” of han­dling what­ever sit­u­a­tion that is re­ported. Well, un­til you have walked a mile in their shoes — or maybe even two miles — don’t be so quick to judge.

So, why do I think I have the right to de­fend him? On May 14, 2001, at 1:58 p.m., I had to have a po­lice of­fi­cer show up at my door let­ting me know that my hus­band of over 40 years and a re­tired Metropoli­tan D.C. Po­lice lieu­tenant, was not com­ing home.

A trac­tor trailer ran a red light, tak­ing his life in­stantly. God bless the of­fi­cer that showed up at my house, had to give us the bad news and then try to com­fort our fam­ily. We don’t know what kind of day that of­fi­cer had be­fore he showed up at my house, but I am sure he would have wanted to be any­where but there.

It is true that we hold our po­lice in a higher stan­dard than most pro­fes­sions, but you need to re­mem­ber that they are peo­ple too, with their own fam­i­lies and, yes, their frus­tra­tions come out. I for one, am grate­ful for those men and women who put their lives on the line ev­ery sin­gle day and I al­ways make it a point to thank them when I see them. I know first­hand how hard the job can be on the po­lice of­fi­cer and for their fam­i­lies, and I for one, am grate­ful to each and ev­ery one of them. God bless them. Maryellen Popielarcheck, Me­chan­icsville

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